Though public gatherings and celebrations are on hold right now, it’s still possible to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day from home this year. Here’s how.
On 8 May, many countries around the world will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, a day celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the World War II.
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This year, however, the ongoing global health crisis and stay-at-home orders mean that many planned VE Day parties and celebrations are no longer going ahead. Here’s how you can pay tribute to those who fought in the war and mark the momentous occasion at home.
Make your own VE Day bunting
Honour the men and women who lost their lives in the war and share your pride in your country by creating your own festive bunting. All you need is some string, cardboard, and pens or paints to decorate. For easy-to-follow instructions, head to the BBC and check out their step-by-step guide on creating a Great British Bunting. It doesn’t have to be Union Jacks – you can decorate your bunting however you like.
Toast to the heroes
Pubs, clubs and various other community organisations in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man were set to raise a glass to the Nation’s Heroes at 3pm on Friday, 8 May. While establishments remain closed and public gatherings are banned during lockdown, drinking to those who lost their lives or were wounded in the war can still be done at home. Set your alarm, grab your beverage of choice and take part in the Nation’s Toast from the comfort of your living room.
Watch some iconic World War II movies
There are countless movies about World War II to watch this VE Day, from those dramatising the brutalities of war to heartwarming stories of friendship and love in the face of conflict. If you can’t choose between Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Schindler’s List (1993), check out Culture Trip’s guide to iconic World War II films for a breakdown of the best in the genre.
Take part in the Cry for Peace – virtually
At 6:55pm on 8 May, town criers around the world were set to read out a heartwarming verse to honour the heroes who lost their lives in the war. While the Cry for Peace will no longer be recited in public places and at planned celebrations, the poem can still be read aloud from home. You can also still hear town criers deliver the poem, as many plan to broadcast their cries online.
Take a virtual tour of World War II memorials around the world
On 8 May, World War II memorials around the world would’ve seen huge crowds of visitors hoping to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the war. As it’s not possible for the majority of people to visit these monuments in person, take a tour of some of the world’s most moving World War II memorials from your computer screen, from Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, and learn the history of these poignant structures.
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